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Kids living with a heart condition are brave @Heart. They show strength and courage in the face of incredible illness and pain.

Here, you can share in the experiences of some of New Zealand's heart kids, heart teens and heart adults, read their own words and see their artwork.

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Georgia Delmonte georgia_2014

Like most expectant parents, Sarah and Warwick Delmonte didn’t foresee Heart Kids NZ playing any part in their future whatsoever. It was an organisation that rang a bell, albeit a faint one. A charity that helped children in need, but that’s where their knowledge ended. Then their daughter Georgia made her early appearance, and less than 48 hours later, Sarah and Warwick began their crash course in congenital heart conditions, Norwood procedures, Glenn operations, Ward 23B, and Heart Kids NZ.

Georgia was diagnosed with hypoplastic left heart syndrome at birth. The left side of her heart was unable to pump enough blood to the body and the overworked right side of the heart would have eventually failed. Surgery was Georgia’s only chance of survival.  Dad Warwick said, “Our world shrank immediately after Georgia was diagnosed with a heart defect. All that mattered was our child’s recovery.”

Georgia had her first open heart surgery, the Norwood procedure when she was just four days old.  Fifteen weeks later, she graduated to the Glenn operation and began to thrive as Mum and Dad Sarah and Warwick hoped she would.

Throughout 2013 Georgia’s journey continued under the watchful eyes, scans and x-rays of Ward 23B, and come December she had a valvectomy to gauge and explore the somewhat surprising possibility of repairing her Aorta. The prognosis is ‘hopeful’, although far from confirmed. The final decision will be in surgeon Kirsten’s steady hands during Georgia’s third open heart procedure in 5 to 6 months time.

For many heart parents like Sarah and Warwick, their heart child is a fighter with incredible inner strength and determination.  Their medal is the long scar on their chest announcing to the world that they are heart kids.

Every week, 12 babies are born with a congenital heart defect in New Zealand. These heart kids and their families need help not just in the operating theatre but throughout their lives. Important help that only Heart Kids NZ is committed to giving but we can’t do it alone. Your support and generosity will help us make a difference to the lives of these heart kids and families.

1/8/2014

 

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Heart Kids annual appeal will be held from 22 – 28 May.  We will be looking for volunteers to assist with our nationwide street collections.  If you are interested in helping or know someone who might be please email laura@heartnz.org.nz

 
 
 
 
 
  
 
 
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